Australian Michael Cheika, new coach of Los Pumas: from Argentine DNA to emotional ups and downs and the team captaincy

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Australian Michael Cheika, new coach of Los Pumas: from Argentine DNA to emotional ups and downs and the team captaincy

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Australian Michael Cheika was introduced as Los Pumas ’new coach. Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

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“I believe in this team.” Michael Sheika He spoke for the first time and in just over an hour as coach of Los Pumas. And that phrase is the most repetitive Australian. Quiet and eloquent, he left some uncertainty about what his process would be as head coach of the national rugby team, but there were also doubts. And he emphasized the work to be done on the team’s emotional ups and downs and the great gift of some historic players.

Cheika has known the National Team players and their “Latin DNA” since he was a collaborator in the previous episode of Mario Ledesma, in 2020. But the challenge is different now.

When asked about the team’s emotional ups and downs compared to other selected teams, which led to poor results in 2021, the Sydney -born man clarified: “I also have my own emotional ups and downs and I’m an expert there. . I was fortunate to have two facets: the Latin and emotional side, and the Anglo-Saxon side, the harder. The important thing is to know how to use both when you need them. “

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup.  Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Andres Bordoy Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Andres Bordoy Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

And he added: “As for the emotional aspect that characterizes the players, it’s something I want to keep because it’s part of who you are. You need to channel it.. Find out when to use that emotionality, how to use it, in what circumstances. I want to help players understand how to take advantage of that aspect and combine it so that it becomes a complex weapon and an advantage. But at the same time he warned that he would not have “psychological assistants”.

When asked about new calls for the National Team, he said: “If you play well at your club, we’ll look into you.” And always trying to avoid controversy, he defined the role of captain of Los Pumas, still unspecified. “It is a very important role.. It is a discussion that we will have a UAR to define it. I’m from the old school: I like that the captain represents the team and the rugby players from all over the country ”, said the second foreign coach in the history of Los Pumas, as the former was New Zealander Alex Wyllie. .

The Australian coach will manage the national team for at least a year and a half. The main goal is the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which starts on September 27 next year and ends on October 28. There they will look to play a good role and leave a better image than seen in Japan 2019, where the light blue and white teams were eliminated from the group stage, which has not happened since Australia 2003. And they must also erase the bad memories of the last Rugby Championship, in which Los Pumas suffered six consecutive defeats against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup.  Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Andres Bordoy Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Andres Bordoy Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

“Now we are not among the first in the ranking -he made the corresponding self -criticism-. We will work smart and improve the level of the players. “For that, the campus meeting will be very important. And at the press conference a glimpse of an open policy to all Argentine players.

When asked by two historic national team players, he replied: “In the case of Agustín (Creevy), he is fine, we are observing him. In the case of Nico (Sánchez), he doesn’t play much, but I know what he can do. I talked to Gonzalo Quesada about Nico. I trust him, I know what he has done and I know what he can do. We consider them all. “

Cheika was quiet and calm. He answered each of the questions with understanding. He was seen as confident and had faith in the team. It will be necessary to see if he responds to the Australian on the playing field in the same way that his head coach has dealt with the concerns of journalists. The task is not small: raise a team that comes in hard. But Cheika has a script: trust, work, emotional anchor and an open door for everyone who wants to join. Time will tell.

The Argentine DNA

Andrés Bordoy, the scrum coach, defined what the coach can contribute as a foreigner. “He doesn’t want to come to change the Argentine culture that defines us. He wants to go and empower us and he has the tools to do that,” he said. He wants to use that battle that the Argentine has in his DNA and he knows this is our strong point. I think the plus is enhancing our virtues and giving him his stamp based on his experience in international rugby. That will be very productive for us and the players.

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup.  Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

The Argentine rugby team, Los Pumas, has officially presented Australian Michael Cheika as their new coach for the 2023 World Cup. Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

A loaded calendar to raise your head

Los Pumas ’next promises will be key for the team’s future, in a year where the international calendar holds 12 games against heavyweight rivals.

The National Rugby Team will return to play in the country after three years. In the July international window, they will play three friendly matches against Scotland on consecutive Saturdays: the 2nd, on Jujuy; the 9, in Salta; and on the 16th, in Santiago del Estero.

In the Rugby Championship, where the last edition they lost all six games, the first two dates were at home against Australia: on August 6, in Mendoza; and a week later, at San Juan. They will then make two visits to New Zealand: on August 27, in Christchurch; and on Sept. 3, in Hamilton. And they will close against South Africa: on September 17, in Vélez; and a week later, as a visitor to Durban.

Finally, the national team will have three test-matches in Europe in the November window: the 6th against England, in London; in 12th against Wales, in Cardiff; and on the 19th against Scotland, in Edinburgh.

Source: Clarin

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